Anan Magazine (2009.12.23) #1689 : Part 1
Heisei 22. Fukuyama Reform.*
As a musician, he is commencing his 20th year in the industry as well as playing Sakamoto Ryoma in Taiga Drama next year. As an artist, he is now presenting completely new performances. His adventurousness, eagerness to explore and the fact that he is active in many different areas would make people think that he is similar to Sakamoto Ryoma, who led Japan into reforms.
In the next 120 minutes, taking “Fukuyama = Ryoma” as the premise, he told us a lot about Fukuyama Masaharu in Heisei 22, which covers work, love and marriage.
Views about “Blessing” ( 幸福論 Koufukuron)
The definition of “blessing” should not be determined by the majority’s view. It is more important for you to work this out for yourself.
When considering how to live your life in the current era, I think it is important to define the meaning of “blessing” in your own way.
It should not be what most people regard as blessing. Rather, it should be something that you can feel “Oh~this is it!” from your heart. Something personal.
This view would not change, I think, no matter during the chaotic Bakumatsu period (Xiaoxin: “Late Tokugawa Shogunate” — end of Edo period in Japan, when Ryoma lived) or in the future when the human race expanding onto the moon.
Due to information overfloat nowdays, sometimes people will take the common standard to determine “blessing”, such as being rich or becoming famous etc. However, opposing views have developed overtime as well. Such as the term “the Winning Side”* (勝ち組) has been popular for sometime as well as the idea of “Slow Life”*. It is a bit embarassing to talk about “Slow Life” now, though (laugh).
That’s why I believe it is no good to determine “blessing” according to the trend, a certain moment or the public opinion. It is excellent if you can find your own version of “blessing”. This happens all the time in man-woman love relationships. Although some people may advise “you’d better give up!”, if the couple think that this is fine, there is no room for other people to comment. Afterall, it is their own private matter. If both of them think there is no problem, then this is a type of “blessing” too.
I am the type that never gets the “blessing”.
A performer would never have “blessing” for his whole life? (laugh)
Although this is my belief, I haven’t drawn the conclusion yet (laugh). This is because I always want to search for something new (and never be satisfied. – Xiaoxin’s interpretation.) That’s why I am the type that would “never be blessed” (laugh).
This “searching for more” is the food for creativity which is related to my performance. Perhaps I am very suited to this type of work (laugh). Those who want to take performance as their profession might never get the “blessing”, as there is no ending to it.
If you can find something you can accept and feel satisfied about it, it is a blessing. My (ex-)classmates look very much blessed as they can see their answers. It doesn’t matter whether their houses are small or facing the sun, they always try to find something good in it. For example, they would say “although my house is small, it is still great!!”. On the other side, they would say to me “you have always been asking “is that anything more? would there be more out there?” why are you searching so hard? ” They always try to persuade me (laugh).
Although I am not trying to say “just love the people around you (will do)”, you will never be blessed if you don’t accept what you have at certain aspects. When looking back at my life, it is good enough if I can say “well, although I have been looking for things all along, I feel being blessed overall”. However only at the last second that I realised “the process of searching is a kind of blessing afterall”. Before that I kept looking out for things all along and it was just so tiring! (laugh).
Of course, I have my “blessed” moments too. For example, I feel really blessed when seeing the audience’s smiling faces during my concerts. I sometimes said in my concerts that, the audience might feel that they were seeing something bright and shiny from the stage. However their smiles were even brighter to us. I don’t get to see this very often and it is really awesome! I felt truly blessed when I was at those moments.
However the thought that “I am doing it for this” doesn’t suit me at all. “Their smiles are all because of me” — I would never think so (laugh).
Cuteness ( 可愛さ Kawaisa)
“This is my first time!”
“Only you would have done this (for me)!”
I think these 3 lines would be enough!!
I think Ryoma-san is a cute, likable and single-minded person. For those who are eager to achieve, just having a strong will is not enough. If you were not cute or likable, no one would want to come close to you. Not everyone, even Ryoma-san, has a big vision and ambition all the time. If someone has a charisma that can attract people around, there must be “cuteness” inside that too.
So what is cuteness?
“Oh, I don’t know about this! Can you tell me?” Someone who admits his ignorance when coming across topics that he has no idea about. Someone that is curious to things that are unknown and listen to other people with great interest. That alone is very attractive! It doesn’t matter how old you are, there are still a lot of things that you don’t know. Isn’t it true?
So, what sort of girl is cute? I am very clear about this though…..
This is from the point of view of an oji-san (uncle) (laugh). A cute girl needs to be silly in certain ways. It is more likable if she is a bit “loosen” (xiaoxin: vs tight and strict). If she is too serious, she is not very approachable for guys, right? Of course there are many different types of “loosen” people. For a man, although he may not think his jokes is up to any good, he would still be very happy if a girl laughs at his jokes (laugh).
Compared to the “keep-it-to-yourself honesty” , the “out-spoken cuteness” is more advantageous.
In the orientation course of a famous business corporation, new female staff is asked to memorise 3 lines:
“This is my first time!”
“Only you would have done this (for me)!”
They are instructed to “apply” these words onto their male colleagues.
I reckon these 3 sentences alone are sufficient to reflect cuteness.
For example, in the scenario of a male supervisor telling off his female subordinate like “you can’t do this” or “in this situation you should do it that way….” etc. If the girl then replies “Thank you! Only senpai* would have told me this!”. The man would feel “Oh really!!? ♥” (laugh).
The same theory applies to restaurant dating. Assuming that the guy has taken a long time to choose a restaurant, if the girl says “Oh wonderful! This is my first time here. The food is delicious!!”, the guy will feel very satisfied. It is like that in real life, as men’s approach to love is not very sophisticated. (xiaoxin: in the original script, the last sentence is “men are at a very low level regarding love”.)
Girls who can talk like this could become “women’s enemies” in some situations. A man would still feel happy even though he can sense what the girl says is fake and just for flattering. Why’s that? This is because the man would think “that girl is only trying to get people to like her!”
Regardless of what she says, her action is just to trying to make herself likable to others. On the other hand, those who are not able to speak out in this way would also have their own cuteness and men know about that too. However it is harder to detect if they don’t voice it out. So the former is more advantageous in human relationships. It is understandable that some girls are unable to “sweet talk” in such a way as they are more honest. However, I still hope they would try.
Afterall, you see~~people are not just listening to what she says, they can feel that she is really trying hard, right!? Therefore, although men can tell she is not serious about she says, they still won’t reject or deny it.
On the opposite side, those girls whose cuteness is hardly noticeable could push responsibility back onto you by saying “please understand I am not able to do this…” If you have to reply “how can you turn me down straightaway without even trying?”, it is meaningless already.
I think this is quite common in an office ~ well, like those who suck up to other people (laugh). Sucking-up has its own meaning too….it means that you are trying very hard. It doesn’t really matter even if everyone can tell (that you are sucking up). Well, I don’t work at an office so I am not sure about the real life situation. However in terms of human relationships, I reckon there would be similar scenarios.
~ Continue to Part 2 ~
*1. “Heisei” is the era reigned by the current Japanese Emperor Akihito which began in 1989. “22” is the number of year since the beginning of the era. “Fukuyama Reform” refers to “Meiji Reform” in Japanese history that was contributed by Sakamoto Ryoma .
*2. “Winning Side”, “Losing Side” : originates from the conflict between two groups of Japanese immigrants in Brazil. After World War Two, those who believed Japan was defeated were taken as the “Losing Side”. Those who believed that Japan didn’t lose and that it was only a strategy were taken as the “Winning Side”. In 1990’s, businesses which survived the economic downturn were the “Winning Side” and vice versa.
*3. “Slow Life”: Japanese-English – evolved from the word “Slow Food”. It is a response to the fast moving pace of life in the modern society that we need to lives more slowly and culturally.
*4. Senpai: Japanese way of addressing someone who is more senior at work or school. It means someone who started earlier then you in that place.
~ Translated by xiaoxin and reproduced here with permission. ~